80%Faster to complete employee equity plans
90%Reduction in data entry
Gold Coast-based equity management platform, Cake, helps startups and scale-ups make equity easier to use. Working with professionals across the ecosystem, including lawyers and accountants, VCs, accelerators, incubators, and investment groups, Cake has become one of the top equity solutions for startups in Australia.
“We’re quite a rare beast, a proper early-stage global scale-up on the Gold Coast,” says CEO and co-founder Jason Atkins. Over the last six months, Cake has expanded to Singapore, the UK, India, and the US.
“We have plans in 2022 to get to more than 20 countries,” confirms Jason. “We’re on a big global expansion campaign.”
Signing made easy
In order to have a partner supporting its growth and help streamline operations, Cake teamed with DocuSign early in its journey. “We needed a way to integrate the document signing and the legal workflows into the system,” explains Jason.
“Our system can now send the documents to all the shareholders seamlessly,” he says. Using eSignature saves time, reduces risk, and allows the shareholders to proceed through the transaction much quicker. Cake’s entire workflow is now integrated with DocuSign, simplifying the capital raising process.
“You have multiple lawyers and accountant meetings. There was always a lot of paperwork, emails, PDFs, manual signing and people signing in the wrong place,” says Jason. “You send a 50-page document, and they just send back the last page that’s signed in the wrong spot.”
Jason also adds that if a startup sends an investor a document with errors, they might not invest. Thus, accuracy is critical.
DocuSign’s eSignature platform allows Cake to offer a standardised agreement service that reduces the need for meetings and emails.
“We’ve had about an 80% improvement in the time and cost to complete an employee equity plan or to settle a capital raise,” explains Jason. With an integrated system, Cake only needs to enter the customer’s data once, helping reduce data entry processes by 90%.
“Credibility and trust were the main factors when choosing DocuSign. The other was usability for the engineers, which they found seamless. Without DocuSign, it would be much harder for us to grow and be a global business,” he says.
Partner in growth
In 2021, Cake had about a 300% increase in customers, growth, and over 650% increase in usage of the document signing process. And it’s looking to achieve similar results this year. Jason says that the company currently creates about 500 contracts a month and expects to increase to a few thousand per month globally by the end of 2023.
“DocuSign has been critical. In India, for example, DocuSign is only one of two companies that you’re allowed to use for legally binding agreements. It helps to choose an industry leader,” he adds.
Ease of use
Introducing the technology to the workforce and clients also proved to be trouble-free. Jason says there wasn’t any doubt from the team or concern from customers and partners, providing him with the confidence to invest. “My main questions are always: ‘Are the customers happy? Are the partners happy? Are there any complaints?’ And if not, I assume all as well,” he says.
A global perspective
The venture space is globalising significantly. And an increasing number of US investors are investing across the globe. Getting an investor’s signature from the US or Hong Kong for an Australian startup has always been challenging. DocuSign has eased that pain point. “Faster data entry and contract signing lead to faster funding,” Jason notes.
Not short on innovation, Cake will continue to make equity easy. It has plans to integrate the more global equity agreements with DocuSign to speed up the equity process even further. The company has also incorporated DocuSign to do secondary transfers, where one shareholder sells to another.
“We are building a global equity platform to create cross border equity. We want people to have a portfolio in 10 countries, work for five different startups, and be able to track their portfolios,” Jason says. “The payments, equity transactions, and portfolio management can happen on the one platform. This move will revolutionise global finance in the early stage.”